Black Lives Matter

Monday 27 July 2009

Curtains Hung

This evening I managed to remove the final bits of masking tape, vacuum the carpet and hang the curtains. My camera does not have a very wide angle lens but I think you can get the idea of the colour scheme of the room.

I had early been to Ikea for the shelving for the cupboard and a little drawer unit for wall mounting near the sewing machines. DH is master of the flatpack and has promised to help with those though he's under the weather today so I didn't push it.

We also didn't seem to have any food in the house so I did a supermarket run. That plus an episode of Dr Who off DVD used the evening up completely. (P.S. I love Dr Who) so I am happy I managed to vacuum and hang the curtains even if not much more than that.

DMIL's floral curtains work well in this otherwise plain scheme. They did have these in their master bedroom with matching bedding and a pink carpet and even DMIL who loved the print agreed it was too much. She has plain pink curtains now so was happy for these to find a new home with me.

Sunday 26 July 2009

Painting is done

I am declaring the painting in the sewing room to be finally done.
Over this weekend I finished painting the cupboard in 2 coats of pale green emulsion with all the woodwork in the cream satin - perhaps slight overkill as once its full of my fabric stash I don't suppose it'll be all that obvious but I know its done.

More obvious is that I did the second coat of cream gloss on the windowsill, which looked fab until a fly decided to land on it whilst the paint was still wet and then died, which made a mess when DH removed its body. It was very small so I don't suppose it will be noticeable.

I also repainted the radiator in gloss, and whilst I had the cream gloss out also painted the towel rail for the bedroom - the painting equivalent of sewing another project because it uses the same serger thread!!

Anyway that's all drying now, but tomorrow I can sort of the curtain rail (the student decorator put all the rings in the middle and none at the ends) and then hang the floral curtains from DMIL. Also vacuum round the room and remove the last bits of masking tape etc. I'll also buy a shelving unit from Ikea for the cupboard.

Then I might do a photo of the basic room and you can get an idea of what its like without much stuff in it.
After that I'll need to decide what should go in next - probably the very tall bookcase before my precious sewing machines and then gradually work through everything else finding sensible places for everything to go.

I think I would like it if I can manage to get the room all in order before the weekend - though as there's only evenings to do everything in and I'll have at least one long day with work and another out at Weight Watchers that might be pushing things a little.

Anyway I am very happy with the colour scheme of pale green and cream, and once I have the bookcases and curtains in I think the room will began to have some character. I am excited about how lovely it is going to be.

Wednesday 22 July 2009


I painted inside the cupboard the other evening though it needs a bit of touching up and the skirting board painting in there too.
I think I am going to remove the garment rail so I can get more fabric in!
(That's a thought which makes me SMILE.)

I think the cupboard is going to be just for fabric and I will have all the books/magazines/patterns/notions in drawers and on shelves elsewhere in the room.

I had a big fabric cupboard (with rail removed) at the last house and it was always lovely to open the doors and enjoy pulling out fabric for possible projects - something I've missed so far here as everything ended up in boxes.

(UPDATE: garment rail removed, will touch up cupboard on Friday evening!)

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Orange coat

Here I am wearing my orange coat from last year's SWAP with the orange knot front top from the WiaW and purchased linen trousers. The trousers seem to have shrunk a little sadly.
The photo is taken in the sewing room - so you can see what the pale green walls and cream woodwork looks like - tranquil but not massively exciting!

What a terrible silhouette! The coat needs shortening to a jacket and the trousers need to become crops for the beach. Needless to say I won't be wearing this to the office again.
(I am guessing I am employed for my winning personality, fantastic telephone manner and ability to listen to techie IT guys long enough to know roughly what they are talking about, rather than my fabulous dress sense!)

Oh no I've been Tango'd!

(For those who have no idea what the being Tango'd is, there's an orange flavour fizzy drink in the UK called Tango, which was advertised by people painted orange jumping out slapping the drinker with the words 'You know when you've been Tango'd)

Monday 20 July 2009

Sewing room decorating continues

Today I applied the gloss paint to the windowsill and it is a much nicer finish than the troublesome satin. It needs a light sand and another coat tomorrow. I think I am also going to gloss the radiator as I want the harder finish on that too.

I also finished the skirting board plus painted the door frame and the door so its really coming together now.

I don't think I am going to start bringing things back in until the painting is finished though, so maybe I will start on the inside of the cupboard now as that did not get done by the student as he ran out of time.
I'm going to have a shelving unit in the cupboard and have fabric in there folded up nicely.
And to make space for the ironing board next to the Ivar shelving I'll have the bookcases over on the other side - which will make it handy to change music since my mini hi-fi sits on top of the low bookcase.

So the end is seeming closer right now :D

Sewing room

The sewing room painting is inching along. The windowsill didn't work at all with the low odour satin and I have had to sand it all off and reprime some parts. I've bought a proper gloss paint to use instead for the final coats, though it is going to need two.

I had done a second coat on the majority of the skirting board so have been able (with DHs help) to get the desk and Ivar Ikea shelving unit into place as these are areas which are finished.
It sure is dragging though, but since I don't plan to redo this room for years once it is set up I might as well do things properly than rush at this point.

I can't work out where I can put the ironing board without trapping myself in a corner or blocking the bookcases, but maybe it'll become clearer once I start using the room again.

Saturday 18 July 2009

SWAP 2009 practicality

I was putting clean laundry away today and noticed I had a few SWAP things coming through which is a good sign of what really works. Some of the items never seem to see the light of day though.

black/white knot front top - a favourite
turq/white Jalie top - another favourite
black trouser jeans- wonderful - only minus is the top of the zip catches the skin
pinstripe pants - great for work
teal/white print top - another favourite

teal gather front tee - a little too boxy
turquoise tee - boat neck is a little strangling
charcoal cowl neck top - wrong season prob wear more in colder weather
black wool pants - wrong season prob wear more in colder weather

Turquoise skirt - bias cut is just bad
Turquoise jacket - not a great fit - buttons up too high

Sewing Room

This weekend I am going to finish off painting the skirting board, windowsill, door frame and door, hang the floral curtains MIL gave me and reassemble the desk. At that point I will have a good idea of how the flow of the room is taking shape.

I currently store notions in clear plastic boxes but they are of several different sizes and not perfectly rectangular, so I may look at replacing some of them with these white DVD boxes from Ikea which will stack better on shelving. I'm also hoping for a new tall bookcase to the left of the window and another 1 or two of these mini drawers for handy items for the sewing machine.

Friday 17 July 2009

No sewing

Its been a hard week at work this week and has left me quite tired.
I've made no progress on finishing off painting the woodwork in the sewing room, and have been getting home late watching TV and reading through a stash of old Burda magazines - interesting to see how the silhouettes have changed in 10 years - some items still very wearable but others hopelessly outdated.

Hopefully I will be able to get the basics of the room painting finished off this weekend and start to move furniture back in - perhaps even do a bit of sewing. In particular I want to slightly trim the sleeve on the lime McCall's blouse and reset it without any puckers and then I can start to wear it.

The weather has turned rainy here and so my garden is very green but rather overgrown as I've not managed to mow the lawn or anything.

Sunday 12 July 2009

Weekend Away

Had a nice weekend away in South Devon staying with family.
The weather wasn't too good so DH suggested shopping on two occasions. Once I'd checked he hadn't been taken over by an alien (he's normally very averse to shopping) I took full advantage and on each trip found a fabric shop.

So Friday afternoon was Exmouth and 'The Linen Box' a sewing and wool shop where I bought 2 metres of bright red rayon/linen mix fabric. Probably become red linen trousers. Perhaps too loud but I bet I would wear them :-)

Saturday afternoon was Totnes which has 'Stone Fabrics & Sewing Surgery' at the top of the High Street. There I bought some lime green shell buttons for the next McCall's shirt and 2 metres of lovely viscose lycra knit in a red coral colour which I am hoping will be a dress.
Dh also bought us goodies from the traditional sweet shop which was lovely.

Sunday afternoon we went to Dawlish Warren, walked on the beach and the sea front and had icecream in the sunshine! What more can you want?

MIL gave me some nice curtains which I hope will work in the Sewing Room - they are pink and green Dorma ones in a traditional floral design - normally too girly for me but I think will be nice in there with everything else plain.

Tuesday 7 July 2009

JCC Photos

In all the photos I am wearing the same lime green and black chunky pendant. This orphan from my costume jewellery drawer inspired me with the lime and black pieces you see here in my June Capsule Contest Collection. Lime is a new colour for me and I am really loving it because its fresh and bright. I am pear shaped and so I like to have dark colours in skirts/pants and have the bright items on the top to give my figure visual balance. This is the first ever button front shirt I have owned which fits, as nothing I have ever bought or sewn before in this style has fitted properly. So that's a great triumph for me and has opened a whole new world of shirt wearing for me. In order to concentrate on the shirt I used patterns I had used before for the other items and have created interchangeable wearable pieces I am very happy about.
As an added bonus the plain pieces form last year's JCC also work with this year's pieces.

*The pieces*
Orphan - Lime/black necklace - purchased

Knit top - Simplicity 4076 knot front top in very soft lime cotton stretch knit.

Woven shirt - McCall's 5522 blouse in a lime woven cotton with no stretch.

Pants - Burda WOF wide leg pants (Oct 2008 #132) in a black suiting fabric with nice self weave stripe.

Skirt - Loes Hinse 5007 gore skirt in black/white stripe polyester.

Saturday 4 July 2009

Emptying the room

I have the room about 1/3rd emptied so feel like I am finally making progress.

I am definitely going to have some shelving/mini drawers wall mounted within arms reach when sitting for all those small bits which get used all the time.

I am going to get some shelving in the cupboard which currently has a hanging rail and 2 shelves above and store my current favourite fabric in there, with my out of season/less favourite fabric down in the garage. I had just been storing boxes in the cupboard due to the lack of shelving and it was a waste of the space.

And I think the time has come for a really big purge, though I might need some help with that!. Maybe I can persuade YorkshireLass to come for the weekend and help me be ruthless with the UFO boxes. I have also kept a lot of my clothes from when I was bigger - especially ones I had made - in the hope I could recut them to fit me now. Might need to revisit those in the light of being a Clear and Warm person some of them might be too cool colours for me. I guess there are some very outdated styles as well in the UFO box.

Anyway have paused long enough, back to moving sewing stuff.....

7pm and the room is now emptied. Its taken me about 4 hours of quite heavy work including moving two bookcases and their contents.

P.S. The photos show the emptied room. I don't have a very wide angled len on the camera, hence all the shots!

June Summary

Here are the garments I sewed during June. All but the shirt use TNT patterns.

Top left: Apple green and white poly knit in the Jalie 2449 crossover top pattern

Bottom left: McCall's 5522 in a lime woven cotton with no stretch.

Centre: Burda WOF wide leg pants (Oct 2008 #132) in suiting fabric with nice self weave stripe.

Top right: Simplicity 4076 knot front top in very soft lime cotton stretch knit.

Bottom right: Loes Hinse 5007 gore skirt in black/white stripe polyester.

Interesting to see that I have used 5 different pattern companies but still produced a cohesive wardrobe.

Sewing room planning

After I wrote that post I had a moan at DH about the room, and he came up to the room with me and started suggesting different layouts using the current furniture. He also said we might be able to change some of the furniture next year if that still didn't work.
(When we moved we just reused all the old furniture but in different combos so I currently have his old computer desk which I frankly don't love but its a solid and relatively expensive piece of furniture that goes nowhere else!)

I sat down on my seat and told him what worked for me and what was frustrating and he made suggestions as how I could have things set up going forwards. So I think that will be good. He has a good spatial brain, and set his hobby space up so it works very well for him.

I particularly love the convenience of having spare machine feet, scissors, seam rippers etc to hand in these little drawers and will try to get some more of these and have them wall mounted to free up workspace.

Friday 3 July 2009

Sewing Room - before

I am very fortunate that in the new house I have a double bedroom as a dedicated sewing room. It is not decorated to my taste though and so although I go in there and work on my projects I don't really love it. I'm not very good at sorting things - I get inspiration and work on a project but need to be better at tidying up afterwards. Here's how the room looks at the moment. I have mismatched furniture (which will have to stay :-( ) and decor which will be altered next week - the border will be removed and the whole room painted pale green.

The room is a real state I can see, and I'm not sure why that is. I think in part becuase I don't love it. For a while at the start even after the stuff was in the room I didn't sew and then the desire to sew overcame my dislike of the room, but I think the lack of love there has meant I have not treated the room very well.

Anyway I am using the opportunity to mend my ways, and as everything gets moved out for the decorating work to be done (by someone else) on Monday and Tuesday, I am going to sort through everything as I move it back into the room over the following few weeks.

I am going to have to keep all the furniture as is even though it does not match because that is what I have already but I am going to have less stuff out everywhere which should make for a more pleasant room especially with the new colour.

The new colour the room will be is called 'Apple Mist' which I think is a great description. It should be a nice restful colour to work in.

Anyway its a bit embarrassing seeing the state of the room, so I am off to make a start.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Sleeve ease

Chatting with Jenni tonight about the sleeve and armhole and decided to measure them all. Very revealing I have got 3 inches of ease! Apparently about an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half is the normal amount. Which kind of explains why I've had so much trouble getting the sleeve in the armhole.

Sewing room getting redecorated

I have now got a date for when the sewing room is going to be redecorated - next Monday and Tuesday. We decided to get someone to do it for us rather than try to do it myself.
I'm very excited about the redecoration. I've been using the room but the previous owners had it as a teenage boy's room and its currently painted dark blue with a gaming border (dice, cards etc).
The border is coming off and the whole room is being painted pale green.

So this weekend I have to empty all the sewing stuff and small furniture out of it. I promised DH that I will sort everything out and the 'new' room won't look like a fabric explosion happened (as is the current situation). He didn't look convinced but figured it was still worth a try.

On that basis July is going to be dedicated to sorting out the sewing room more than actual sewing LOL. But it should make for a more pleasant sewing/creating environment in future.

JCC deadline - just

Well I'm not happy with the sleeves but there was a deadline so I just had to go for it is as.
As sewing time is now over I will do the contest photos showing the shirt as it is, and then when its done I will spend some time removing the sleeve, trimming the sleeve cap a little and reinserting it.

Jenni helped me make a muslin of this and we made the armhole neater but the sleeve wider in some places (I have chunky arms) which I am sure has not helped things, plus this is 100% cotton with no stretch or give whatsoever - quite dense - pinholes and unpicked basting show.

Patsijean left quite a comprehensive note on my previous post of resources to consult. I do have the Sandra Betzina book already, so I will have another go after the contest to make the sleeves look nicer. Thanks for the help Patsijean, I just timed out yesterday evening :-(